I have a 25-35 minute commute every single weekday morning and about a 40 minute commute every single weekday night.
I’ve resigned myself to this despite the fact that when I think about how much time I spend by myself, in a car, doing nothing, I get kind of depressed (bored).
So in an effort to be above the commuting curve, I now make myself learn something new every time I’m in the car (Don’t worry Mom. At stop lights. Duh.) Or sometimes, I write songs (about current events. Like Hurricane Sandy and Lindsay Lohan) And sometimes, I have awesome ideas (Example: Dip Food Truck, because everyone loves dipping various edible things into various delicious dips).
It helps me at least kind of convince myself that maybe I’m not completely wasting my commute with just run of the mill sing-a-longs into bananas and calling various people to complain about various current events within my own variously entertaining and strange life.
Because I am an above average commuter. I am not just a body in a car! I am a mobile-learning-song-writing-idea-stress with a fantastic vocal range for Disney show music and anything by Taylor Swift. I’m not sorry about this. Even though my bitchy barely literal friend Siri (love ya girl!) rarely knows what I am talking about, she’s definitely no stranger to my inquisitive commuting over-caffeinated brain.
Some other examples of Siri questions:
- “Who is Neal Peart?” (The drummer for the 1970’s rock band, Rush)
- “Give me some articles to read about Anna Wintour.” (Vogue Editor that Devil Wears Prada, character Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) is based off of)
- “make me a reminder to create a flow chart about the ways Justin Timberlake is more successful long-term than Britney Spears”
- “Remind me to entitle it Karma: What goes around comes around (an interlude)”
- “What does ‘stalemate’ mean?” (Any position or situation in which no movement or progress can be made. ..HA! Oh, traffic-related irony.)
- “Make Adam Levine dump his Victoria’s Secret girlfriend and fall madly in love with me.” (Sorry Meg. I do not understand.)
- “Yeah. Well. Screw you too Siri.”
So yes, I am drone on the road just like every one of the rest of you sorry 9-5 son of guns. But at least I’m trying to be proactive in my pursuit of intellectual and creative awesomeness as I sit and wait and wait and wait and wait.
Traffic, as it turns out, is a necessary evil in this part of my life. Maybe in my life forever. Who knows. I put myself through it every day because I have a job and I am a grown-up and I like money and I’m a materialistic bitch. It’s the circle of life. Hakuna Matata. (which coincidentally means no worries and is not exactly the attitude of my fellow commuters if you know what I am saying)
Bear with me. I have a point.
There are things in life you do because you have to.
- Like paying taxes (or you go to jail Ms. Lohan)
- Like separating your red underwear from your whites before washing them
- Like eating mac and cheese at 3 am on a Friday while watching the Justin Bieber part of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show on repeat
You do these things because it’s part of life. You do them because there are consequences to not doing them. You do them because sometimes you got your redbull vodka on a litttttle too hard and now it’s 3 am and you’re drunk and WIDE AWAKE (and not in the way that Katy Perry speaks about being wide awake. I mean like literally you are a caps lock button in a keyboard made entirely of lowercase z’s)
I get it. I get this part of life. The journey part. The part in between a and b. The and. And why we do it. For the paycheck, the clean clothes, the no jail time, the excellent hangover result. We do the things we do for results. The outcome. The ending.
One of my favorite movies (of all time!) is The Girl Next Door. It’s highly under-rated because it’s one of those hybrid chick flick man movies that has enough naked girls and drugs and bad language with just the right amount of an under the surface romantic plotline to suit both genders in perfect rom-com-man-flick tranquility.
I can not speak enough on how much this movie speaks to me. Despite it’s incredibly irrelevant unparalled plot line to that of my life (see: ex-porn star pursues boy next door character in an effort to have sex in the back of a limo on the way to prom), it moves my mind in a way that movies rarely achieve.
And here is (mostly) why:
There is a scene where the pimp (Timothy Olyphant) is beating up said boy next door character (Emile Hirsch.. oh baby) and then gives him ecstasy and he goes to a school function and I die of laughter and ANYWAY…during this particular scene, he says,
“You wanna be president? Lemme tell you the first rule of politics; Always know if the juice is worth the squeeze. You know what that means?”
He goes on about taking his girl (ex-porn star) from him and blah blah blah whatever. That isn’t what’s important here. Because what’s important is how epically relatable and relevant that particular quote is. What is important is what that means for you. For me. Right now.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve been squeezing some metaphorical lemon with a vulcan death grip trying to get a couple drops out of it, assuming the effort made will make it taste like the nectar of some fruit made out of fairy tales and rainbows by the Gods themselves. It’s going to be the best damn juice I’ve ever freaking tasted. And I’m so focused on squeezing I forget it’s only a lemon.
Because I’m queen of the squeeze. I will laboriously dedicate myself to squeezing the shit out of something I care about. Or I think I care about. Or I thought I cared about? Wait what am I squeezing again?
I think that’s what some things become. The squeeze becomes more important than the juice. And we’re so busy stuck in traffic to get somewhere that we forget really why or where were going. Or we’re so dedicated to maintaining a relationship because we’ve put in all this time and energy that we can’t see that it has become more toxic than healthy. And we want so bad to follow our dreams that we can’t acknowledge we don’t even believe in them anymore.
Traffic. Bills. Rejection. Laundry. The Treadmill. Working overtime. Cutting the lawn. Drunk text messages. All-nighters. Facebook friend requests. Painting my nails. Chugging Redbull. Online dating. Tying my shoes. Rihanna’s instagram page.
We put ourselves through things for the outcome. And we do it for various reasons.
Love. Fame. Clean underwear. Wealth. Paychecks. Killer Legs. Acceptance. Chris Brown’s… whatever.
So here’s my question for you. My point. The end result. Why The Girl Next Door should stick with you the rest of your life. A virtual stoplight in the commute that is your life.
Is whatever it is worth it? The job. The money. The guy. The stress. The frustration. The letdown. The rejection. The time. The energy. Is whatever you are putting yourself through truly worth it?
You tell me.
Go suck on that lemon, Siri.